Uses for Soybeans
Soybean are used in a wide variety of foods for humans and animals, as well as for industrial and consumer products such as building materials, lubricants and other household items. Learn about those soy-based options in the Soy Products Guide.
Uses for Meal
Poultry and livestock feed makes up 97 percent of soybean meal used in the U.S. In Missouri, pigs are the largest consumer of soybean meal followed by broilers, turkeys and cattle. In 2012, livestock in Missouri used the meal from 37.9 million bushels of Missouri soybeans. The United Soybean Board supports animal agriculture through:
- Supporting domestic animal agriculture
- Marketing soybean meal to animal nutritionists
- Promoting U.S. meat and poultry exports
- Developing data and information important to livestock producers
Looking for guidance on using soybean meal, soybean hulls or other soy products in your livestock rations? The University of Missouri Cooperative Extension Service created a feed calculator in 2020 that may be helpful. Access the calculator as a Microsoft Excel file by clicking here.
The other 3 percent of soybean meal used in the U.S. is in food products like protein alternatives and soymilk. People who are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy may consume soy food products for this reason. Soy protein is also a way for vegetarian and vegan consumers to get their recommended daily protein. Soy also appears in products like:
- Soy sauce
- Soy-fortified pastas
- Breakfast cereals and bars
- Some beverages and whipped toppings
Uses for Oil
Oil used for food accounts for 68 percent of soybean oil used in the U.S. This oil can be used:
- For frying or baking foods
- As a vegetable oil
- As an ingredient in foods like salad dressings and margarines
Soybean oil used for industrial purposes accounts for 7 percent of soybean oil used in the U.S. This oil is converted into products like paints, plastics and cleaners.
Biodiesel makes up 25 percent of soybean oil used in the U.S. Biodiesel is a renewable substitute for petroleum diesel made from soybean oil. The fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions, increases energy efficiency and provides a 15 percent price support for soybeans. Learn more about biodiesel here.